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tv   [untitled]    October 18, 2014 2:00am-2:31am PDT

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are before it i think that our staff is doing as much but what are the resources they properly enforce this law in the absence of resources one thing we should do is make sure the third party's venting to point out a violation or at least bring that forward what's extreme in my view is that we are creating a new regulatory scheme without actually providing the resources or the legal tools to insure there is proper enforcement if extreme is the word i think that qualifies and extreme let's talk about back taxes and let's be very clear about what's happening here ask any small business in san francisco whether or not the city would allow them to operate
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n and open their doors before paying a licensing fee before paying a permitting fee now extrapolate that to what's happening today, we have a finding by the 0 treasurer of the city and county of san francisco that million dollars dollars $25 million about is owed to the taxpayers of san francisco and yet as we are deciding whether to provide an additional benefit to this corporation let me say i believe we need to legalize home sharing that it has a rule to play in san francisco but it would be wrong in my view for us to create a separate set of rules for one group of people and a separate set for another
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we were here not too long ago when we saw the developers on a major transportation project that were trying to get out of their obligations under that project beyond how we can say that they should meet their obligations with respect to that issue and say we're not going to delve into the money that is owed leave that up to the treasurer we crafted the language that's before you with the advice of the city attorney 3 has made it clear that this body as ever right to make an enforcement of this law contingent upon the payment of back tax someone said i think it was leon hellly didn't have to
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pay takes on the little people pay tackles in san francisco it shouldn't be the small businesses that pay the tackles etch that benefits from being a part of the city that paid their fair share pay your fair share that's all we're asking and if we vote today without requiring that of a corporation that is worth temple billion dollars i think we're not only making a mistake about the policy we're making a mistake in terms of the message we're extending to the rest of san francisco we've been talking about the enar equality in this city we're the weight irrelevant city in the world and on the other hand, have the fastest growing inequity e equality that didn't have to do with our system of rules and laws that inequality
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is simply as difficult economic equality but to go beyond the inequality and is the rules that we have good not apply to certain people that's not what we should do in san francisco it goes against everything we believe if this board passes this without requiring the back tax to be paid we'll go down in history with one of the worts decision home sharing a good but we've predicted a new set of rules on a foundation of inequality that simply can't work rules are supposed to apply to everyone whether or not their politically connected or not applying to everyone that's the
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san francisco way (clapping.) >> all right. supervisor yee. >> thank you i want to just say for i need to support the item the amendment i proposed to basically is a that rh1 d should be a set of housing that we should look at through a particular lens i'm sure you're aware of the rh1 ds we my district has a lot of them and probably we have the bulk of san francisco's rh1 ds but the issue here there's been discussions whether we support
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or not support my amendment not in this chamber but that is only for particular things as if this hadn't happened before in san francisco it happens all the time because people like my colleagues in this room would say this is important to my district and it doesn't impact the rest of you, please support it we've done this several times since i've been here before in-law units loud to be built or whether it's about issues of formula retail stories or where it's about development feeds in particular areas so i just want people to think when you make a decision the argument that this is a car bomb i suggesting this is not the negative argument because it has been used over
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and over again in this champ. >> thank you, supervisor kim. >> i had question open other contemplates e amendments i'm going to be speaking about my amendment it's reasonable and it is saving water down to target in the actual situation we're trying to enforce against our office has spent days negotiating with the mayor's office to get to an all the time to get this target the e greshdz bad actors in san francisco landlord that are taking unit off-line it's more lucrative to - i know with have the department of building inspection restraining order rose mar their department has the enforcement of chapter four
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1 that is a hotel conversion ordinance i have questions for her i'm currents in terms of the amendment we've old do you find this is helpful with enforcement from our experience? >> supervisor kim and supervisors provisions that is in chapter four 1 that deals with residential hotels has no pro condition to filing on action except for noticing the city attorney's office you don't have to wait 45 days i have to tell you that provision has been in the ordinance for the last over 25 years it was put in after the ordinance was initially adapted and been effective in helping this city enforce that ordinance because it allows the individual
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that have the expertise in given that the consequences in violating the ordinance be able to make their argument in court depending on the action from a regulatory standpoint from that standpoint it has definitely helped us in ways we've not expected one of those to be able to enforce something like that it is similar to chartered 41 a recordkeeping is an important exponent so one of the things we've found over the years and experienced with the possibility of residential guest rooms being converted when people got suited by a nonprofit for not compiling with the remaining those residential guests rooms they did a better time historically of keeping adequate records for our monitoring so that's one
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example there are many others. >> thank you it's my understanding that after the hotel conversion ordinance passed in 1990 one of our nonprofit organization was able to get preliminary injunctions after 25 hotel and after that the aviated majority were able to cure their violation and the city sued 5 right of owners helping to save the city hours and hours. >> that's correct those action helped to encourage those are individual to change their business plan. >> thank you, ms. boss my question for the city attorney i know that supervisor wiener had brailth brought up concerns of frivolous litigation before i ask my question i have to say that the federal judicialy has
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been clear frivolous litigates is not a probable invading and in fact, a survey of 2 hundred and 70 court judges they believe that frivolous lawsuits were a small problem and 15 percent on top of that said they're no problem and 85 percent of the judges said that affirmative list litigation is a small problem having talked to a lot of folks open the side they're worried enforcement with the short-term rental legislation this amendment will not be helpful to them they don't have the resources to take open lawsuits and that they wouldn't it can take it open without a can say they don't have the resources they'll lose in court and clearly not been able to recruit those costs, in fact,
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the only individual that talk about the rob pro of frivolous litigation has been the bush mifrths everywhere administration the unconscious brothers and the heritage fountains that being said our office worked to carefully more narrowly there will this amendment which we didn't want that to be the infraction frame of the amendment so we took out moderny damaged or any civil penalties from being that nonprofits could seek they could only seek the injunction and in my experience this is now my questions it's any experience that courts and judges don't typically afford the costs of the attorneys and they use their
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discretion when a court order to pay back the fees. >> deputy city attorney marilyn burn i'm not a lit gator but, of course, it's also in the courts discretion as to what penalties or damages it's part of the trial process to determine what the appropriate remedy is. >> maybe to get someone to address that my understanding that would be extreme for a judge to order payment of attorney's fees when the violation is so minor but that i have to address if the violation is truly that minor the person that is the target of the litigation has time to cure it so let's say the violation they didn't register with the city if that person then registers with the city their supposed to anyway, the violations is curd and the court will not hear a
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that very lawsuit; is that correct. >> you know deputy city attorney marilyn burns through the chair i think it depends on the fact given in the case but that's part of the decision making that the court going through whether or not the violation is part of the calculation of any determinations by the judge. >> i've never, ever heard of a case where our over-burdened court will here a mute case because the violator you curd their violation. >> john gibner, deputy city attorney i agree with ms. burn that's hard to predict what's going to happen the cases are going to turn on the fact the court will have reasonable attorney's fees if the nonprofit
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prevailed so there's a number of factors that is reasonable as you know, from seeing the settlements before the board there's a low moderny dangle award and attorney's fees are high in terms of the injunction relieve under the the amendment you've proposed the party that's going to be sued would have 45 days to cure before a lawsuit is filed once it's filed if there's a claim for injunctive relief and the folks change their practices it's possible under a type of litigation that the plaintiff the nonprofit in this case would be considered a prevailing party because the lawsuit forced the change and then petition the court for attorney's fees he again hard to
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exactly predict. >> i think historically is that courts don't give fees for a minor violation i want to make sure that folks said the amendment that i have been offering and why it is so limited in scope and also more limited than what has think effective competed right of action that would be already in chapter four 4 in our hotel conversion which dbi and the city has said it effective and make sure that people are following the laws and saved did city tons of hours and dollars making sure we're endorsing our litigation even from that, we have made the change that this nonprofit entity could not win any civil perpetrates or any
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damages because they didn't incur damages this will sure any financial incentives incentives from nonprofits to file frivolous litigation the amendment given to us assuring with the nonprofit has been in place for 5 years prevent the concept that maybe a new nonprofit would inform and establish specific for literally migrants the short-term rentals violations we did narrow it as quickly as possible and maid mayor it of the limited to property owners of 3 unit or more in building we're going to see when this legislation is actually passed and in place is the structure the outcomes are going to be fairly fairly limited we'll be going after our
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really e greshdz bad actors i know that the eviction has revealed it's top offender that landlord are doing average and short-term rentals and restricting one of the top issues in our city that is our housing supply so i think this very small and reasonable amendment is going to make sure we're going to be able to enforce against the e entrenches offender and in supervisor chiu's legislation will make sure that legislation is enforced overall. >> thank you, supervisor wiener. >> thank you madam chair and thank you to ms. boss can he and supervisor kim for your comments i guess and i agree if this
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amendment were actually limited to situations where a landlord was evicting buildings go and airbnb being them and the esteem situations we see that's one thing the way i read this amendment and granted i received this amendment after i sat down in the board chachlgdz it goes well, well beyond that and includes owner accompanied building that have not any evictions this is not limited to the bad actors this includes a wide universe of small business owners who have not evicted anyone at all so that's where the southern i have in terms of the hotel conversion ordinance the sro's see those sro's as i understand are typically opposed their large
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properties typically those are significant property owners those are business people this applies to any building of 3 units or more in other words, a lot of smopdz that live at that tha in their building to subject the homeowners to hire an attorney and potentially pay the oddss foes and subjecting the sro's to that kind of liability and in terms of litigation and i you know, i before being elected to the board i spent 15 years as a litter our doing trillion work for almost a decade as the city attorney's office and prior practice so i spent a lot of time in court and dealing with the attorney's fees two things number one there are it is not uncommon at all for courts to
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award attorney fees bans small judgements and violations of the law that were not extraordinarily in nature and in addition a small attorney's fees award for a small business owners can be devastating in addition to hire our own attorney because someone sues you, we also know i don't have the same level of confidence supervisor kim in terms of the ability of our court system to actually eliminate basis also lawsuits quickly that doesn't happen we see cases that spend an numerous time in court they don't get quickly thrown out very often it doesn't happen it's not how the federal or state particularly in the state system is set up that's my
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concern if this is this were narrowly drawn against the actual egregious actors isle i'll be for it but the way it's read it is dramatically broader than that and sweep in small homeland security were not expecting to get suited and pay the other side feeds. >> the current legislation already allows for f this after you've exhausted your remedies by the way, this is not going to happen this amendment will not architectural gate that further but provide the opportunity for a narrow group of both targeted xochlt and also nonprofit organizations and i know that the amendment to make sure it
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the nonprofit in existence for six years helped to secure the universe of actors that will be able to take advantage of this amendment and i think we know who a lot of those actors are and we have seen very responsible litigation that goes against our worse actors and finally, i would say that you know, i really struggled a lot with this legislation not because i didn't want to legalize short-term rentals but everyone agrees that legalizing short-term rentals is the right direction for the city and if i don't i think as supervisor wiener said the jean i didn't say out of the bottle we have to regulate this my concern is also been about b be the cities enforcement of the legislation to make sure we're supporting
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the positive activity out of short-term rentals really creating a strong hand over the bad actors that existed this type of short-term rentals that is taking unit off the mark is not new even prior to airbnb coming into existence and in fact, i remember when we were having the debate around washington at golden gateway one of the actors that were permanently taking unit outing off-line and representing for vacation it's been completely illegal for us to use short-term rentals in our rental housing stock we have not been able to enforce against this illegal activity i really building that this narrow amendment is going to help to make sure that we have going after the worst of actors i don't see a somewhere under
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which kind of the more strom works with going to be occurring if it passes along with the reflection. >> supervisor cohen. >> thank you very much as we continue to have the discussions there is certainly one entity that is missing the treasurers office we put in a couple of calls he's not been able to join us so supervisor campos i want to strike a couple of questions in our eloquent and lou kwshz remarks you spoke about the back taxed money on the table why leave it there and not solve the problems how do you know that there are back taxes due particularly i
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ask that i'm under the advisement that the legally the city tax collector is not able to confirm or deny which entity has does owe back taxes. >> maybe you can speak to that. >> thank you thank you supervisor cohen and what i would say is that a couple of things first there is a dispute among the parties as to whether or not a specific amount t is owed but as a city with have to speak with one voice any comments about the back taxes owed are based on what the city treasurer said
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specifically - >> i'm sorry tax collector said is or. >> it this a tax collector remark 20 two years ago. >> he indicated back taxes would be owed in this situation and so i believe that without prejudging the merits in terms of what is owed or not owed we've done in consultation with the city attorney to simply is that this legislation will be effective upon a certification by the tax collector that the host approach or platforms have paid the back taxed without any violation of privacy to who those individuals are we understand clearly there are
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privacy concerns pledged it is simply a certification by the tax collector pursuant to the regulation they've issued i believe we should take down didn't that regulation the payment has been made and my point supervisor is that we have an opportunity right now essential to resolve this issue to provide the various parties an opportunity to put this issue of back taxes behind us, if you will, whether through litigation or something else that will sure every incentive for that litigation to be soefld in if the litigation of the companies decide not to a pay; right? and i think that consistent about the idea that everyone should
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pay their fair share we're simply saying we as a city have previously said to companies that come to the body requesting a benefit that i have to follow the rules in place if you want this benefit we also want to confer to you it is fair you do what every business 40 in san francisco does pay the taxes you owe the city. >> colleagues are there any further discussion supervisor avalos. >> just wanted to go into the the amendment i offered for a long time it's been the process for people who have space in their houses they want to provide for people to stay in they would have restrooms or with the technology we have that around provides or b rb o i
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think that's their name that there is another possess process that brings in short-term rentals and people staying for short periods of time but over the course of a year occupying precious space for a long term tenant i'm proposing a cap of 90 days so it person can have an option to have a short-term rental that adds up to 90 days or a permanent tenant and rules in place for people that want to go into the hotel business or the bed-and-breakfast business to apply for a cu to have people stay longer than than the short-term rentals that have past 90 days the option is still vail with a

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